The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off of one of the more dramatic seasons in its history.
A.J Bouye, a seventh-year veteran, recently went on SirusXM NFL Radio and speak about his departure from the team, and how the trade ultimately unfolded. While he did touch the trade prior on NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport’s podcast earlier this offseason, this week Bouye expanded on just how many issues occurred with the Jaguars.
While it was clear the Jaguars had no choice but to trade disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey during the season in 2019, seemingly no other player expressed interested in wanting out of Jacksonville at the time. According to Bouye, it was exactly what he wanted to happen.
“It was definitely something that I wanted,” Bouye told SiriusXL Radio Host Bruce Murray when asked if he wanted out in Jacksonville.
“I couldn’t control where I really wanted to go. But, Denver was one of the teams I definitely wanted to go to. Just seeing what they had how they finished strong last year. And when my agent told me, I was definitely excited. I couldn’t control what was going on in Jacksonville. I just tried to keep a positive attitude and just kept grinding and just to go somewhere and already have great chemistry with the coaches and already feeling like they want me to succeed.”
The Jaguars were in plenty of headlines last season, but for all the wrong reasons. Not only did the team lose one of its marquee players due to disagreements, and alleged disrespect issues placed upon Ramsey by certain executives, the team also suffered a major blow from the NFLPA after the players association sent a scathing letter to all players in the NFL regarding the team’s discipline practices, particularly unnecessary fines levied on its players.
As a result, the Jaguars cut ties with executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, an event that caused the Jaguars’ locker room to rejoice, albeit mostly in silence.
Bouye told Murray that everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong in Jacksonville last season.
“The play wasn’t where it needed to be. I don’t think there was much that was changed scheme-wise on our end - we just couldn’t stop certain things. So I felt we were becoming a little too predictable,” said Bouye on some of the issues that went on in Jacksonville.
“On top of that we had a lot of distractions going into the last year and then certain players with the injuries and certain players wanting to get out of there, it was just a lot going on, and you just couldn’t point the finger at one thing.”
The distractions that went on within the Jaguars’ locker room last season have been largely documented, and while they were plentiful, Bouye did say the players seemed to do their best to move on and simply do their jobs.
Now, the Jaguars are dealing with more dramatics. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has requested a trade from the team extremely publicly during this offseason, and appears to be one of the last players that hasn’t bought into the team for the 2020 season.
The dynamics of the locker room in Jacksonville is something Bouye says he’s “never” been apart of before. The former Jaguars cornerback noted that the “Tom Coughlin thing” was part of the issue with much of the “blame” being placed on him. “It was so many things - fighting in a locker room and disagreements, to people wanting to be gone like, I’ve just never seen that before.”
While much was made regarding the way Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has handled the team, Bouye had nothing buy good things to say about him, noting that he and the coaches “definitely did a good job” of trying to maintain cohesion in the locker room amidst all the distractions.
The Jaguars have worked hard to create a better locker room this offseason. From drafting high-character players to changing the overall dynamics within the team. The 2019 Jaguars, they hope, are a thing of the past.